ST. LOUIS, MO. – Every year, fans, players and the entire hockey community look forward to the end of January for NHL All-Star weekend. The action-packed 2020 NHL All-Star Weekend took place in St. Louis, Missouri, the home of the 2019 Stanley Cup Champion St. Louis Blues. This marked the third time the city of St. Louis has hosted the event since the Blues entered the NHL in 1967, but the first at the Enterprise Center.
On Thursday, January 23rd, 2020 the NHL Alumni Association (NHLAA) started the All-Star weekend with a luncheon and hot stove Q&A at the Anheuser Busch Brewery. There was no shortage of stardom as seven hall-of-famers took the stage including Wayne Gretzky, Brett Hull, Guy Carbonneau, Peter Stastny, Chris Pronger, Bernie Federko and Al Maclnnis. After trading stories from their time in the NHL and collecting some laughs from the audience, the other NHL Alumni members took to the stage to take a group photo. Fans gathered, taking the opportunity to get their own photos and mix and mingle with the alumni.
Following the luncheon, the NHLAA embarked on NHL All-Star Media Day, held at the historic Stifel Theater in downtown St. Louis. Media outlets were invited to ask questions and interact with NHL Alumni members Al MacInnis, Chris Pronger, Bernie Federko and Curtis Joseph along with 30+ current players that were named 2020 NHL All-Stars. This event was a large production that gave season ticket holders and fans alike a unique experience with superstars from the past and present.
The main event of the day was the Honour the Past: Alumni Game at the Centene Community Ice Center in Maryland Heights. After a standing ovation for the 50+ NHL Alumni members and Charles Glenn, the 19-year St. Louis anthem singer, a ceremonial puck drop took place featuring Brett Hull, Bob Plager, Guy Carbonneau and Red Berenson. The game was a high-scoring affair with the Blues Alumni edging out the NHL Alumni 10-6 in a fun-filled match. The Blues Alumni did a great job coordinating this inaugural event and the NHLAA thanks them for being gracious hosts!
On Friday, January 24th, the NHLAA hosted its Board of Directors’ and Chapter Presidents’ Annual General Meeting. The meeting outlined the NHLAA’s accomplishments over the past year and future developments for 2020. Guests from the NHL included Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly, Sr. Executive VP of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell, Sr. VP of Event Communications and Player Development Jamey Horan, Sr. VP of Hockey Operations Kris King and Sr. Manager Social Media Programs David Klatt. Special Assistant to the Executive Director Mathieu Schneider was in attendance representing the NHLPA. Additionally, with the hiring of Jerry Jormakka as Alumni Support and Health Coordinator, Jerry joined the meeting to address his services to Alumni members assisting in all areas of mental health, addictions and beyond. Dr. Amin also spoke and outlined alumni health-related solutions to help members in their post-playing careers. An exciting announcement at the conclusion of the meeting, was the addition of new NHLAA board members Mark Messier, Paul Coffey and Chris Pronger.
Later in the day was the NHL All-Star Skills competition, which showcases the speed, agility and accuracy of the game today. Prior to fastest skater, Wayne Gretzky took the ice to everyone’s surprise and welcomed the fans. Another popular event during skills was accuracy shooting which saw Alex Pietrangelo take feeds from Hall-of-Famer Bernie Federko. Al Maclnnis then took to the ice to lead off the hardest shot event. Maclnnis was in fine form and tied his 1998 record with a 100.4 MPH shot using his classic wooden stick. New this year was the shooting stars event which had players shoot from an elevated platform stationed in the 200 level down into targets on the ice, each with a corresponding point value. Matthew Tkachuk highlighted the event by letting his dad Keith step in and take a shot. When Ryan O’Reilly had one shot left to try and tie it, he called upon Blues royalty Brett Hull to take the final swing. Although it came up just short, the fans gave a standing ovation for Hull to cap off the night.
On Saturday, multiple NHL Alumni members made appearances at NHL Fan Fair. Chris Pronger and Brett Hull took photos with fans and Jamal Mayers participated in a fireside chat as attendees had the opportunity to interact with their hockey heroes. Later in the night, the All-Star game finished off the weekend in a star-studded matchup featuring some of the game’s best talent.
It was great to have so many NHL Alumni members reconnect in St. Louis and be a part of NHL All-Star weekend and we look forward to seeing you all next year in Florida.